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Sweet Success: The Cupcake Shoppe on Park St.

Mother and daughter team find the recipe for sweet success in gourmet cupcakes for weddings, celebrities and anyone who likes a treat.

Sweet Success: The Cupcake Shoppe on Park St. Sweet Success: The Cupcake Shoppe on Park St. Sweet Success: The Cupcake Shoppe on Park St.

Owners: Yolanda Diaz and Roseann Lugo

Patch spoke with Yolanda Diaz about the new Alameda location.

When did you start your business? We opened January, 2011 in a small business office in Hayward. Then in October 2011, we opened our first storefront in Hayward. And we opened our second location in Alameda on Sept. 22.

How did you get the idea for a cupcake shop? I’ve been doing it on the side for 15 years, mostly for friends and family. I’m a real estate broker and things weren’t going so well in 2008. So we put up our website and a lot of orders started coming in. We operated out of a commissary. I learned from my grandmother and my great-grandmother. My great-grandma had a farm and she baked peach cobblers and all that good southern stuff. So I watched and learned. At Christmastime, we had tables full of cookies.

How many types of cupcakes do you offer? We have over 100 flavors. On Oct. 1, we will be coming out with new flavors including our seasonal flavors such as Chocolate Zucchini, so we will have over 125 types of cupcakes. Every day is a different menu with 12-20 different flavors.

The jumbo cupcakes are $3.25 each. We also sell the classic and mini cupcakes. We do custom orders as well.

We are a full-service bakery, so you can order cakes, cake pops, caramel apples, cookies, brownies and seasonal items like pies. The prices are all on our website.

At our Hayward location, we offer cake and cupcake decorating classes.

Where do you get your ideas for new cupcake flavors? We try to consider all of our customers’ suggestions. We get tons of them. We will be running a contest on our Facebook page.  If we choose a customer’s suggestion for a new flavor, they get a dozen cupcakes of that flavor free of charge.

What is your most famous flavor? We won the 2012 San Francisco Cupcake Challenge in February with our French Toast and Bacon cupcake. My daughter came up with that flavor.

Who bakes all the cupcakes? Me and my daughter do all the baking ourselves. We’ve not quite let that part go. It’s hard to let go because we want to make sure it’s the way we want it. But we know we have to let some of that go eventually. My daughter’s working 60 hours a week already.

We do have employees who help with the prepping and decorating.

What has been the largest quantity of cupcakes you’ve made in a day? We brought 1,200 individually wrapped cupcakes to the Daytime Emmy Awards that were included in the celebrity gift bags. We were up for three days straight!

We also served our cupcakes in the Celebrity Lounge, where we got to meet all the VIPs like Sharon Osbourne and Rachel Ray.

Why do you suppose cupcakes are so popular? Tastes are changing. I’m finding more and more people don’t want to deal with cakes — cutting them, serving them. I’ve done cupcakes for a lot of weddings.

The gourmet cupcakes are really unique. We use quality ingredients such as fresh fruit, good quality cream cheese, high-quality chocolate, Madagascar vanilla. It’s really important. I’ve been to so many cupcake shops — whether they are making fresh frosting or buying it. I can tell — I’ve been raised on Betty Crocker too! We want to create something right so people will come back.

The Cupcake Shoppe is located inside Park Street Plaza at 1419 Park St. Open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Website:  www.thecupcakeshoppeca.com

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